MUSCAT: Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (Orpic) has finalised the pre-qualification process for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work packages of its state-of-the-art Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC).

Taking advantage of Oman’s natural resources and capitalising on the synergies with the existing refinery and the growing global market for plastics, the US$3.6bn project will create new business opportunities and employment in the sultanate, and firmly reinforce the company as a significant player in the international petrochemicals marketplace, a company press release said.

The project will be executed through four EPC packages, which include a steam cracker and polymer units, a natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction unit and an NGL pipeline from Fahud to Sohar.

“This process is a key milestone to our project and all the contractors were required to demonstrate their knowhow on projects with similar size, nature and complexity, along with their international experience with the generation of in-country value considering the legacy that we want to create to Oman,” said the general manager responsible for the project, Henk Pauw.

The following step of the project is releasing a tender invitation for the qualified companies which was initiated in January, 2015 and the project schedule foresees the second stage by early April, when the currently ongoing front-end engineering design (FEED) will be finalised. The awards of the EPC packages are expected to be made in the last quarter of 2015.

The Liwa complex will enable Oman, for the first time, to produce polyethylene, the form of plastic that rates highest in terms of global demand. After LPIC, the plastic production in the sultanate will have increased by 1mn tonnes, giving Orpic a total of 1.4mn tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene production by 2018. The main objective is to further increase the value-added that can be derived from Omani crude oil and natural gas, as well improve Orpic’s product mix and business model, double its profit and support the diversification of the national economy by contributing to the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman.

The EPC contractors will supply all the equipment’s and materials required for the implementation of the project based on an approved ‘Vendor List’. Interested suppliers shall contact the EPC qualified contractors for registration.

As part of Orpic’s commitment to support the local companies, it has invited all companies to register at Oman’s Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS). The registration can be done through the website www.businessgateways.com under the category ‘Manufacturers in Oil & Gas Sector.’

Following successful registration, suppliers will then become eligible to be added to the ‘Vendors List’ subject to a pre-qualification process that will be done by the EPC contractors.